Comparable to elementary school bartering, food trading is finally hitting the adult market. The newest mobile sharing app: Leftover Swap.
Much like many of you are now thinking, my initial reaction was an aggregation of laughter, confusion, and an intrigue to learn how exactly such a wild idea will function.
The new free app, set to launch in late August, allows individuals to post pictures of their leftover food to any interested nearby moochers. Users have the option to either swap leftovers or just put your food up for first grabs. Cofounders Dan Newman and Bryan Summersett cooked up the idea in 2010 when they were roommates at the University of Michigan. As the idea seemed to humor them at the time, it is now something that they believe can have a considerable audience.
As Newman admitted to NPR, ”It was an outrageous joke in 2010, but in 2013, it’s very plausible and something that people would use today.”
Until the innovative cofounders still work around how to generate revenue from such an application, it will seemingly function as a “Good Samaritan” type service, one that they hope to prove useful to the general public. To the cofounders, it is fun and different way to make a positive change on the surplus of food we waste each and every day.
With a big concern floating around the sanitary component of such a service, Newman mentions: “People seem to have a huge lack of trust in their fellow man, thinking that leftovers would be diseased somehow. It goes back to the couch-surfing thing. You’re staying at a random person’s place and you have to trust they aren’t going to do something weird. It’s the same with leftovers.”
This statement is quite debatable, but to shed a new light on the sanitary issue, I would tend to believe that such a service would be more popular in a restaurant setting rather then for commercial use. I think it’s a fair statement to make that the majority of people have once found themselves eying their neighbors fries in hopes that they leave it at their table. Even such an idea can gain traction in an effort to feed the homeless, by leaving a donation food box near restaurants doors that customers can put any leftovers.
In a bit of a different setting, this service can prove quite useful, such as in the college community where students can save themselves the late spontaneous runs to the local 7-11 (maybe this was the ideas original intent).
What do you think? How could this be best used?